Supplements and vitamins: Warning as your supplement could ‘lead to liver damage’

An expert has warned supplements and vitamins could have serious negative side effects. Jo Cunningham BSc (Hons) RD, FCCA is the Clinical Director of The Gut Health Clinic, founded by Megan Rossi.

She told “It’s important to bear in mind that high-dose supplements may interact with medications or potentially lead to liver damage.

“Remember that ‘natural’ doesn’t automatically mean ‘safe’, so if you’re interested in taking a supplement discuss it with a qualified healthcare professional first to make sure that the supplement, as well as the dose, is appropriate for you.”

Even herbal teas and supplements can cause injury to the liver and even liver failure.

Herbal dietary supplements accounted for about nine percent of cases from 2004 to 2008 according to the Drug Induced Liver Injury Network.

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They may not be suitable for you, especially if you take some medications.

Liver damage is not the only negative side effect caused by supplements and vitamins.

When Jo was asked if supplements can cause problems, including weight gain, headaches, nausea, constipation, or other side effects, she said: “Absolutely.”

The expert went on: “It’s easy to take a pill thinking that it’s just a vitamin or mineral, but more isn’t always better.”

The expert advised caution with doses, in particular.

Jo said: “If you are taking micronutrients, always check the recommended daily allowance (RDA) and don’t go above this.

“High doses of minerals and fat-soluble vitamins can build up in the system, resulting in toxicity.

“Often doses are pharmaceutical, rather than nutritional, meaning the dose you are taking is much higher than you could possibly obtain naturally from foods.

“Often supplements are recommended with good intentions – but all too often that advice is given without any science to back it up, and without regulation, it can be really risky.”

10 most popular vitamins and supplements

A survey by the Council for Responsible Nutrition in 2019, looked at the most popular dietary supplements among US adults.

They were:

  • Multivitamins
  • Vitamin D
  • Vitamin C
  • Protein
  • Calcium
  • Vitamin B or vitamin B complex
  • Omega-3 fatty acids
  • Green tea
  • Magnesium
  • Probiotics
  • Iron
  • Vitamin E
  • Turmeric

By Percy